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C. Checking Up On New Moms

Narrator: This is Science Today. While the debate over the length of post-partum hospital stays continues, Family Medicine analyst Susan Egerter of the University of California, San Francisco, says more focus should be on how the new mother and her baby are adapting outside the hospital.

Egerter: All this focus on just days in the hospital is really doing us a disservice. What people should be thinking about are the questions about is the care that used to be provided in the hospital setting being received. The care that good judgement tells us needs to be provided ... is it being provided in another setting?

Narrator: Egerter is calling for more programs which provide professional home visits a few days after hospital discharge.

Egerter: These are trained nurses, medical professionals who can come in and assess not just the baby, but the mother and the whole family situation. That way, they can know if the baby should be brought in for further attention or they can tell the mother what to do about following up beyond that or they can ask for another visit.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.